Notice to Cure Dealing With Building Violations

 Despite the due diligence of boards and property managers, building code  violations can occur during routine inspections—be it a faulty pipe, broken step or rusted fire escape. It is the speed and  accuracy of addressing these infractions which is critical, although frequent  problems are often overlooked, leading to costly headaches.  

 Common Offenders

 The list of most cited co-op and condominium violations includes improper repair  to masonry and walls, obstruction to entry and exit ways, working without a  permit and failing to comply with elevator inspections. “Other common violations include failure to perform annual boiler and burner  inspection, failure to perform an annual elevator inspection and failure to  perform a facade safety inspection,” says Yakov Saric, president of City Drafters and Consultants, LLC, a building  code and zoning consulting firm that provides expediting services with various  city agencies.  

 While all boards and managing agents must adhere to rules and regulations  clearly spelled out in the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Building  Code, Electrical Code, Zoning Resolution, New York State Labor Law and New York  State Multiple Dwelling Law, the purpose of building code violations, and their  enforcement, is not merely to maintain a building in proper working order but  to mitigate risk. “There, of course, is the issue of liability,” says attorney Ronald Steinvurzel of the White Plains-based Steinvurzel Law  Group P.C. “But the amount of violations levied on a daily basis is far more than one might  think, some of which come with hefty fines.”  

 Who is Watching Who?

 Since most boards and managing agents want to be in compliance to avoid  liability and reduce the risk of paying fines, the majority do their respective  best to stay ahead of the curve. The problem is that an area of a building that  was checked weeks or months earlier could fail for a number of reasons and  officials are keeping a consistently watchful eye.  

 “Lately, I have been seeing a lot of fire department violations,” says Attorney Andrew Freedland with the Manhattan-based law firm of Rosen  Livingston & Cholst LLP. “But I also see landmark violations and DOB violations,” he says, referring to the Department of Buildings, the Landmarks Preservation  Commission (LPC) and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).  

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2 Comments

  • I live in a cooperative in Westchester NY. After writing 3 letters over three months to the Board of Directors to have a code violation fixed and receiving no answer, I went to the Yonkers Department of Housing and Buildings and asked for their help. An inspector visited my apartment, agreed with me, and then issued a violation notice. 24 hours after the Hearing the item was resolved. What this shows is that if you want a Building Code Violation resolved and get no response from your Board of Directors, do your homework and then - GO FOR IT ! The violation: "Mechanical ventilation system (roof fans) for bathroom in above apartment and numerous other apartments throughout entire building are not working (9NYCRR 1245.le) 1245.1. Responsibility – The owner, operator , or agent in control of the building shall be responsible for the following: e. Maintenance of plumbing, heating, and electrical equipment and systems, appliances, fixtures, as well as other building equipment and facilities, in an appropriate, good operative, clean and sanitary condition. NOTE: CORRECTION OF ALL VIOLATIONS MUST COMMENCE IMMEDIATELY. NOTICE OF HEARING"
  • Constant checking if there is any open 311 complaints on your property and resolve it BEFORE the inspector arrives is the cheapest and most easiest way to avoid fines. Great column :) Mark DOB Alerts Corp.